Texas abortion advocates: "We refuse to deny the existence and humanity of trans people"

The pro-choice group Fund Texas Women is changing its name to represent all people who deserve reproductive justice

Published August 19, 2014 6:21PM (EDT)

                                     (ProgressOhio via Flickr Creative Commons)
(ProgressOhio via Flickr Creative Commons)

Texas has some of the harshest abortion restrictions in the country, which make it financially and logistically unfeasible for millions of women to make safe, legal decisions about their reproductive health. But the restrictions don't just impede women's choices; they also make it impossible for many transgender Texans to access abortions as well.

The state's pro-choice advocates are taking note, and are working together to ensure reproductive justice for all Texans, regardless of gender. In a first step to expanding advocacy, the nonprofit group Fund Texas Women has announced that it will go by a new name, effective immediately, in order to better represent the people it serves:

In order for our organization to provide quality abortion services, we have to make sure that everyone who needs help traveling for their abortion is able to get it. But with a name like Fund Texas Women, we were publicly excluding trans* people who needed to get an abortion but were not women.

We refuse to deny the existence and humanity of trans* people any longer.

Our board has unanimously voted to approve our new name, Fund Texas Choice. Its emphasis on abortion, not on “women,” makes it a more just alternative.

The organization, which provides transportation and accommodation funding for those who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion in Texas, notes that the new name still isn't perfect -- the historical concept of "choice" tends to ignore the fact that for so many people in need of reproductive justice, abortion access (and therefore choice) does not exist. But the group provides those in need with the financial means to access reproductive healthcare, and effectively funds choice into being. Now, Fund Texas Choice is making clear whom those choices are for.

Naming might be a small step to affording all people the reproductive justice they deserve, but it's an important one nonetheless. By highlighting the groups who are affected by restrictive antiabortion measures and are gradually deprived of their rights, reproductive health advocates like Fund Texas Choice add dimension to the issue and empower those in need. They can restore a bit of the humanity that is lost with every new restriction that is passed.

By Jenny Kutner

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